Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Zealand: Leads Change in FEI Endurance Series

19/03/2013 12:28:21 p.m.
With four of the five events now completed, the ESNZ Endurance FEI Series 2012-13 has been a see-saw affair. Events have alternated this year between the North and South Islands, with few combinations willing to travel to score points in consecutive events.

Of the early series point scorers in the Canterbury FEI ride in early December, only Lisa Wright and Masada Park Metallica travelled to the North Islands Championships. Their total of 31 points from the two events saw them share second place for a short while with Emma Armstrong and Blue Thunder Shimar, one point behind North Island 160km*** Champions, Andrea Smith and Glenmore Tariq.

That is, until a recent trip south to the South Island Championships proved worthwhile for three Wairarapa Endurance Club members. Cherry Brown riding Samurai and I took the series lead with 39 points, followed by Frank Aldridge on Merimindi Finale and Lynda Kessell on KD Kazada (both 37 points). This upset saw North Island 160km*** Champions Smith and Glenmore Tariq slide back to share fourth place and 32 points with South Island 160km*** Champions Alison Higgins and Northwinds Apollo.

However, things didn’t stay still for long. Back in the North Island, a second place in the 80km* at the Waikato ride gave Smith 15 more points, for a total of 47 points, and the series lead by one point over last season’s winners – Mark Tylee and Jacob. In another upset, Amanda McConachy and Makahiwi Geneca placed second in the 120km ** at the Waikato event, and in doing so, leapfrogged from the middle of the series field to third place with 41 points.

The final event of the series is the Fiber Fresh ESNZ Endurance Nationals 2013 at Taupo at Easter, and it is very hard to predict who will finally wear the series buckle sponsored by Makahiwi Arabians.

The ESNZ Endurance FEI Junior Series 2012-13 currently has three combinations tied at first place and 24 points. Georgia Smith and Glenmore Vixen posted the first points on the board with a win in the 120km** JY at North Island Championship, followed by Bridgett James on Glendaar Crystal Fire winning the same event at the South Island Championships. Brigitte Smith borrowed her sister’s mount Aurora Australis at the Waikato event to take the win in her first 120km** JY. Close behind are Leanne Ireland and Alshar Blue Levi on 23 points; and Emma Mason with Tararua Mistalight have 20 points. As with the senior series, it will be very hard to pick a winner until the last horse crosses the line at Taupo.

By Hilary Webb

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